31 May 2006

Govt promises review of new media, 'lighter touch' in next GE

First spotted on Mr Wang.

A related "news" article - Government to review media policies for next GE By Farah Abdul Rahim, Channel NewsAsia

THE Government will review the way it manages new media such as the Internet and podcasts and work towards a 'lighter touch' in the next election, said Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang.

Speaking at the 5th Annual PR Academy Conference on new media, Dr Lee said the Government accepts that Internet and new media are evolving and even more people will be net-savvy in five years' time.

'So our policies must also evolve. We will review our policies on the Internet and new media during the election period bearing in mind the changes taking place,' he said.
Call me paranoid.... but is that a promise or a threat?

'Moving forward, we will consider how to better embrace these changes so that by the next GE, we may be able to adopt a lighter touch approach during the election period.'
1. Why should there be a "touch" in the first place?
2. The "touch" that they had this elections obviously didn't affect many bloggers. So I'm a little confused here.

Dr Lee defended the Government's 'cautious' approach during the recent May 6 General Election, saying that certain restrictions must remain to keep the electoral process on an even keel.
Even? Even? Since when have the opposition parties even approached the equality mark by five miles?

Election advertising, for example, was restricted to political parties and candidates.
Which of course, wasn't carried by our reliable media.

'Were we wrong to have adopted a cautious approach? Here, I do not expect a consensus. But my assessment is that we were not wrong to have taken a more cautious approach,' he said.

'While podcasts and videocasts for political advertisements were disallowed during the election period, political parties were able to make their presence felt in cyberspace making good use of their websites to publicise their programmes. This was on top of the ample coverage given by the mainstream media.'
*proceeds to choke on her biscuit*

Dr Lee said interest was also high in other areas such as in individual blogs, podcasts and videocasts. Many blogs ran commentaries, satires, polls, and photos of election rallies.

'The emergence of new media platforms and the fact that many of our young people are tech-savvy supported such intense interest. Many also see the new media as increasing the political space to speak up on the issues brought up during the election campaign,' he said.

'I accept that some will argue that we should let the people be the judge and form their own opinion by accessing all sorts of information and arguments. I agree that this is not without merit. But it is only valid when information available on the Internet is equally reliable and accurate.
Equally reliable and accurate as WHAT? The local media? Now that would be REALLY unbiased.

'Hence we have adopted a cautious approach in engaging the new media during the election period.'

Dr Lee said said the Government adopted a 'light touch approach' in dealing with the everyday use of the internet and will continue to do so and accept that the Internet and new media will remain largely a 'free-for-all'.

'However during the election period when such free-for-all may result in undesirable situations, we cannot take a completely hands-off approach,' he said.
And we come to the conclusion, the warning hidden within the sugary-sweet message. Next elections, we bloggers better watch out.

Vote For LHL!


Anonymous said...

if they want pro government blogs to be 66% like the votes, they will be disappointed

soci said...

Of course they have to "review the way it manages new media such as the Internet and podcasts", because the threat they made before the election was ignored.

Reminds me of the Merovingian response to Neo in the Matrix 2. "Manage Us! Who does he think he is?"

Anonymous said...

as a swiss national lawyer on leave in singapore, i have followed the recent election fiasco. singazpore govbernssmentg always claim the election is always contested on ana even battle ground; rubbish. afraid of the impact of anti blog comment, the govgernment outlawed political blogging during elections. it is a known fact that after the count had been completed, the slips were moved to another room, and the identity of voters revealled. the government may deny this, but it is tru singaporeans, your government knows who has voted to whiom, right downs to the last house.if their had been a radical turn around, by now there would be thousands of arrests based on trumped up charges against singaporeans who did not vote for the pap.
islanders you are ruled by a communist regime. the lee company will of course deny this.
take a look at the facts. your laws are changed weekly to match the latest pap ideas. a legal system based on british law, rubbish. You would be surprised to know just how many of your judges have been dis-barred by the London laws of Inn.
so unless you grow up dear punter you, your kids and grandkids are destined for fifty years of hell.
singapore will of course pull away from europe and the usa, hoping china will envelope this tiny island. but again no such luck, by the time temasek funds and the cpf are dry, china will say good bye stupid singapore, but thanks for the help, happy sailing. you were uneful, my little red dot until your funds have dried up and cannot help us any more., maybe your british colonial masters will take you back under their fold.
and a final suggestion, please stop bragging. in the eyes of the rest of the world,singapore chinese are nothing; just an extension of the servants who worked for the british.your beloved mercs come from India, and anyway whats a car, here in the west, its common for a reasonable family to own five or six cars, they are cheap.
finally, europeans have always viewed chinese as being the most crooked to deal with in business, only good as owners of the local take away or local laundry.

Anonymous said...

sounds paranoid

foreign comments like this are easily used by PAP to justify controls on foreign media; you are not being helpful to the cause you say you believe in

*The Lunatic Fringe* said...

How do we know the person above is swiss? He could be Singaporean which is back on leave. But his standard of English does not seem to be commensurate to his profession as a lawyer.

There has been some comments on Mr. Wang's blog on the same issue. Check it out.

Guys out there, read the cluetrain Manifesto and you can decide for yourself if what Dr Lee Boon Yang has spoken is crap or pearls of wisdom.


Anonymous said...

hope its not an attempt to fix the bloggers by five years time. Bloggers - be prepared in Matrix space...YOU ARE THE ONE...to lead the revolution in Media! can we overrun SPH in 5 years time?? It shall be called Project SPHinxed.

Anonymous said...

Haha... Dear civil servants—Don't tell me or assure me, SHOW ME.

Action speaks, talk is just talk.

Anonymous said...

lunatic fringe gentleman. granted the swiss lawyers english is rather odd, however, singapore must study the west and that includes the west media's perceiption of your little Island, boastful, the hub of hubs, a community who believe they live in utopia, a mixture of the worst of the first world and the worst of the third world.
take a break and look at yourselves from an outsiders point of view.And please stop self censoring.

Anonymous said...

see this example of Chinese Communist Party..on why they restrict internet info, and you will know why our dear PAP is also doing the same:

If the Chinese people enjoyed freedom of expression and could debate openly the merits and demerits of the CCP, we could imagine the Chinese would have long ago seen through the evil nature of the CCP and freed themselves from the influence of this evil cult. Unfortunately, the Chinese people lost their freedom of expression and thought over half a century ago with the advent of the CCP’s rule.

The Chinese people have not only been deprived of freedom of thought, they have also been indoctrinated with the teachings and culture of the Party. Thus, all that people could hear have been the praises of the Party, and their minds have been impoverished of any thought other than ideas that reinforce the CCP.

The dying CCP is apparently weakening and its control over people’s minds is loosening. With the advance of telecommunications and the Internet, the CCP is finding it difficult to control information and suppress expression.

Since entering the 21st century, the Internet has connected the world together, but the CCP has spent great sums of money in setting up network blockades to trap online liberals, because the CCP greatly fears people freely obtaining information.


Anonymous said...

The CCP is afraid that democracy would end its one-party rule, so it does not dare to give people political freedom. It acts swiftly to imprison independent liberals and civil rights activists. It does, however, give people a deviated freedom. As long as you do not care about politics and do not oppose the CCP’s leadership, you may let your desires go in any way you want.

Maybe in years time, the PAP would learn from the Chinese Communist Party: -
CCP is playing regarding the Internet: It is blocking websites, filtering information, monitoring chat rooms, controlling emails, and incriminating net users. CCP’s police have been equipped with high-tech devices by which they are able to monitor, from inside a patrol car, every move net users make.


Anonymous said...

PAP system controls economic resources and jobs; provided it continues to deliver, it is safe

Anonymous said...

PAP looks worried and frightened now.

First Lee Kuan Yew say can support opposition but cannot change government

Now, Goh Chok Tong also say the same thing.

Last time, both said THERE IS NO NEED FOR OPPOSITION !!!

Even an Ah Beng or Cha Kway Tiao man in their shoes will say the same thing.

It is all about protecting self-interest and their own iron rice bowl and riches, not protecting Singapore.

They keep using the excuse of foreign investors. Even foreign investors wants a choice too when negotiating with governments, not to mention civil servants, people and unionists.

PAP sound as if Singapore will not be attractive to foreign investments once Worker's Party form the government.

PAP make it sound like Singapore will turn into East Timor overnight and Singaporeans becoming unruly bloodhounds if PAP lose power.

What scare tactics and nonsense is this ?!?!?

If the PAP government did its job and introduce the correct economic fundamentals and systems while in power, foreign investors will still invest in Singapore even if PAP lose power.

PAP is not Singapore and vice-versa.

Foreign investors is investing in Singapore as a country and not investing in PAP as a political party.

If PAP's theory is correct, then investment in countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Australia and US should be very low because they change governments every election year and considered politically unstable.

Countries like China, North Korea, Vietnam and Myanmar should be a heaven for foreign investors because they are the same ruling party for decades,not years and considered very politically stable.


Maybe this argument can work 30 years ago when Singaporeans are uneducated but now Singaporeans can think. Besides we have living examples of successful democracies and successful economies cohabiting side by side. Mind you, we are talking about the richest nations in the world.

Countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Australia and US have scandals but it never seriously rock the economy or markets because they have a sound system and trust which Singapore do not have.

Singapore have one NKF scandal and it almost cause the charity industry to collapse overnight because of lack of trust, transparency, laws, system and opposition (TT Durai ruled like PAP). It shows how weak the systems in Singapore are.

Singapore had a power loss cause by Conoco Philips for exactly the same reasons as NKF. (because of lack of transparency, laws, system and opposition)

If the same NKF incident happen on PAP and there is not a ready strong Worker's Party to take over, my god, PAP will drag down Singapore as well. Our CPF, Reserves, Assets etc might have been plundered then but it will be too late.

PAP can collapse but please leave Singapore alone.

This is why Worker's Party must grow, grow and grow and be strong enough to form the next government. Singaporeans then can buy some insurance for themselves.

I have worked with foreign investors and most agree they do not care whether PAP remains as government. As long as the civil service, business laws, rules and regulations are in place, they will still invest in Singapore.

In fact, foreign investors prefer Singapore to open up politically so that they have a choice too because they do not want to be held ransom by only PAP. They prefer to negotiate with more than one choice.

Furthermore, foreign investors prefer PAP to start creating safekeeping systems to keep Singapore running even if PAP collapse. In fact many investors did not invest in Singapore because of the one-party system.They do not want an Indonesia consequence.

Indonesia consequence: Indonesia was chaotic for awhile after Suharto collapse because Suharto did not do his duty of preparing Indonesia for life without him while in power. But Suharto did prepare very well life for himself without Indonesia. Indonesia has now stabilised and may grow from here.

Moral of the story: PAP should start preparing Singapore for life without PAP or without the Lees. This is PAP's duty when in power.

It is PAP's moral obligation to Singaporeans so as to lessen the impact of PAP's demise to Singapore. PAP should start separating itself from unions, businesses and grassroots organisations.

Presently, foreign investors have to deal with GLCs all the time and they complain our business climate is not as competitive and liberal as Hong Kong. GLCs stifle thier investment chances in Singapore.It may boost foreign investment instead if PAP no longer remain the government.

If PAP collapse, Singaporeans may see positive changes they never ever thought of they could experience before.

When Goh Chok Tong begin new PM, he said he wanted a new Singapore with less fears and a more consultative PAP government.

He wanted a fresh start, a more open Singapore, give PAP backbenchers more criticising power and a fresh Singapore.

Goh Chok Tong says he wants his government to be softer than Lee Kuan Yew's government.

After Goh Chok Tong stepped down, nothing seems to have change much. It was 15 years later.

Fear still remained and PAP still as dirty as ever.

Now Lee Hsien Loong became new PM, he repeated the same old fresh start with open society blah blah etc....

Do we want to believe Lee Hsien Loong's sincerity or wait until he stepped down then find out...?

I am not going to be cheated a second time. Too long liao.